Table 1

Studies of community based programs to prevent poisoning in children aged 0–15 years

StudyLocation/community/size/demographicTime frame for interventionType of controlType of interventionOutcomes measures/methodResults
CI, confidence interval; OR, odds ratio; SES, socioeconomic scale; WHO, World Health Organization.
Studies designed with community controls
Guyer et al, 198914Nine cities in Massachussetts, USA. Total population: 139 810September 1980-June 1982Five control communities matched initially from 1970 census data on demographics: total population 146 866Targeted education. Mass media educationInjuries in children aged 0–5 years requiring emergency department or hospital treatment or resulting in death. Injury cases recorded at 23 hospitals based on a surveillance system 1979–82Crude incidence rates (per 10 000 per year) for poisoning: Intervention—before 31.76, after 36.14. Control—before 92.71, after 92.71
NB: by 1980, control communities did actually differ demographically with higher proportions of poorer and Hispanic households. This led to higher baseline injuries. SES controlled for in analysisSES adjusted odds ratio for poisoning in pre-intervention period versus post intervention for intervention community v control is 0.95 (95% CI 0.57 to 1.58)
Krug et al, 199415Gelukspan district, Western Transvaal, Bophuthatswana, South Africa. Population 94 000 (1985), assumed population growth of 3% annuallyBaseline data collected (retrospectively) 1988–90 Intervention Nov 1991–Dec 1992Lehurutshe district Population 72 000 assumed similar in demographics. Received health education messagesTargeted education. Changes to environmentHospital and clinical records—child poisoning due to ingestion of paraffinIncidence of paraffin ingestion declined by 47% in intervention area, remained constant in control area
Studies designed with the intervention community as an historical control
Maisel et al, 196716Charleston County, Southern Carolina, USA1962–65Historical controlTargeted education. Mass media educationChildren under the age of 5 years hospitalized for acute accidental poisoning National clearinghouse for poison control centers1960–61: 90 (baseline) 1962: 66, −27%, 1963: 69, −23%, 1964: 64, −29%
Lindqvist et al, 200217Motala, Ostergotland, SwedenProgram started in 1985. Pre-data collected 1983–84. Post-data collected 1989Historical control results only reported for ingestionsTargeted education. Mass media education. Changes to environment. Behavioural strategies. WHO safe community approachIngestion injuries in children aged 0–15 years treated at health care units and local hospital. Comparing pre-intervention (1984–14) and post (1989) data. Odds ratios giving changes in injury rates after v before interventionAged 0–6 years: OR, 0.59 (95% CI 0.29 to 1.19) 7–12 years: OR, 0.16 (95% CI 0.02 to 1.32) 13–15 years: OR, 1.65 (95% CI 0.28 to 9.91) 0–15 years OR 0.60 (95% CI 0.33–1.10)